Sligo Rovers bow out of Champions League at hands of Molde
Irish side create some good chances but Norwegians go through
Anthony Elding also had a couple of snapshots from well outside the area that failed to threaten, while Evan McMillan and Alan Keane put in superb sliding challenges to prevent Molde increasing their advantage on the counter-attack as the half wore on.
Keane’s intervention was especially vital, as he somehow got between Chima Chukwu and Tripic to emerge with the ball as Molde broke two-on-one. Solksjaer made a double change at the break, bringing on team captain Daniel Hestad and Coly, and they dominated the third quarter, with Hestad only denied a goal by a brilliant Peers block.
Rovers keeper Gary Rogers made a great save to deny Emmanuel Ekpo from increasing Molde’s advantage on the second half, before Rovers boss Ian Baraclough sprung Cretaro and North off the bench to try and get back into the tie.
Cretaro was lively straight away and Djilali remained a threat on the flanks, but Molde killed the tie with a brilliant second on 77 minutes. Chima Chukwu flicked the ball into the path of Coly cutting in from the left, and the attacker gave Rogers no chance with a clinical finish from the edge of the box.
Coly had two decent opportunities prior to that, but missed the target with a close range effort after great work by full-back Linnes.
Mattias Mostrom went close to grabbing a goal for himself when he found space at the edge of the box for a shot, but pulled it across goal and wide.
Rovers battled on and finished strongly as they tried to give the travelling fans something to shout about. They had a great chance to claim a consolation goal in injury-time, when the ball rebounded invitingly for North, who was left with a one-on-one opportunity, but Orjan Haskjold made a great stop, and Djilali could not direct the rebound on target.
The last chance fell to Molde, however, as the excellent Hestad again found space inside the box, but Alan Keane managed to deflect the ball around the post from off the line.
Sligo Rovers: Rogers, Keane, Peers, E McMillan, Gaynor, Djilali, Ndo (Lynch 80), Cawley, Conneely, D McMillan (North 67), Elding (Cretaro 63).
Molde: Haskjold, Linnes, Hovland, Forren, Toivio, Tripic (Hestad ht), Ekpo, Hussain (Hoseth 78), Mostrom, Berget (Coly ht), Chima Chukwu.
Referee: D Grujic (Serbia).